Houston, TX: When Simone Biles returns home to Houston some think a party should be held in her honor. Others, not so much. One Texas Attorney General says she's an embarrassment. Biles grew up in Spring, Texas, just a short drive from Houston. She has 25 world medals, 19 of those are gold. She's a true athlete, and she knows her limits. Biles has her own training facility near Houston and uses her abilities to help others. Elite athletes are moving to Texas to train with Biles.
Attorney General Aaron Reitz calls Biles a "national embarrassment", comparing her to Kerri Strung who went back to the mats after an injury and stuck her landing, earning Team USA a gold medal.
Outrage erupted on Twitter.
Gene Wu, State Representative said an attack on Biles is an attack on all Texans.
Many call Biles the GOAT, the greatest of all time, and want her to be celebrated as such.
Ken Paxton calls Reitz's tweet insensitive and says it will be handled internally while offering his support to Biles.
One person tweeted:
"Kerri Strug played through the pain and won gold. Simone Biles knew her limits, accepted them and was still there to cheer on her teammates. They're both iconic, and they should be celebrated accordingly."
Michael Phelps spoke out with support for Biles:
"We carry a lot of things and a lot of weight on our shoulders. It's challenging, especially when we have the lights on us and all the expectations that are being thrown on top of us."
"It's OK to not be OK. It's OK to go through ups and downs and emotional roller coasters ... I felt like I was carrying, as Simone (Biles) said, the weight of the world on my shoulders. It's a tough situation," Phelps added.
On Tuesday Biles is reported to say she feels the 'weight of the world on her shoulders.' As an athlete and a medalist facing competition without the support of friends and family in the stands, she is under immense pressure. Her mental health is challenged more than ever. She feels responsible to her team, too and the pressure that her mistakes can hold the team back from earning another medal. Biles made the decision to step back so that her team can perform, and possibly earn a silver medal.
Many hail Biles as a champion who listens to her body and knows her limits. Someone other gymnasts can look up to. Even if Biles does not compete in Tokyo, it's likely her training facility in Houston will have more clientele than she can manage.
Houston wants to throw a parade in Biles' honor. A few, like Reitz, say she's an athlete that should do the job she's in Tokyo to do.
Biles is known for offering a hand to charities, hospitals, and people in need. She has used her time and money to advocate for kids in foster care. She will likely continue to be a champion in the hearts of many, especially in Houston.
Is Biles a hero or an embarrassment?
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